Aust. Sustainable Development Goals conference in Sydney

AUSTRALIAN business, community, civil society, academia and inter-governmental agencies will converge on Sydney on November 29 and 30 to discuss ways to deliver on the  United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The SDGA16 conference will find pathways for Australia to deliver on the agenda of the United Nations' (UN) Sustainable Development global goals, adopted 12 months ago by UN member countries, aim to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all” as part of a new sustainable development agenda. 

A spokesman for SDGA16 Sydney said the key question asked by the conference is: “What is Australia doing about it?”

Sustainable Business Australia CEO Andrew Petersen said: “The SDGs can provide Australia with a robust framework and an historic opportunity for companies to harness their capital and creativity to help solve local, and global, challenges. As an engine of economic growth and employment and a source of technology and innovation, business has both a critical role to play and a vested interest in contributing to this agenda.”

WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said: “In 2030, we want to look back and see this time as a key moment in history. One year on from when Australia signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals, it’s great to see Australian business, government and civil society leading the way to develop practical and innovative solutions to these global challenges.”

SDGA16 aims to raise awareness, foster opportunities for partnerships and catalyse local Australian action around the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals – which, in a development from the preceding Millennium Development Goals, have a clear focus on domestic action in developed countries, as well as developing countries.

The 2030 SDG agenda can provide Australia with a platform to advocate for a strong focus on economic prosperity in Australia and the region, while decoupling greenhouse emissions and unsustainable resource consumption.

It can also promote priorities including gender equality, and strengthening governance and tax systems to reduce inequalities. The agenda is also an opportunity to develop new and innovative models of partnership between the private sector and civil society to achieve implementation and identify priorities for greater collaboration going forward.

SDGA16 will culminate with the Banksia Sustainability Awards 2016 on 30 November at the University of Sydney.

The conference will be held on November 29 and 30 at the University of Sydney Business School. Confirmed speakers include:

Business: Shayne Elliot, CEO, ANZ; Roberto Mercade, president, South Pacific, The Coca-Cola Company; Maria Atkinson, Greater Sydney Commission. 

Civil Society: Tim Costello CEO World Vision Australia; Dermot O’Gorman, CEO WWF-Australia; Helen Szoke, CEO Oxfam Australia; Cassandra Goldie, CEO Australian Council of Social Service; Maha Krayen Abdo OAM, United Muslim Women’s Association; Sam Mostyn, Australian Council for International Development President; Vince Perez, WWF-International Board member.

Public sector: Susan Ryan, Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

Academia: John Thwaites, Monash University professor.



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